Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Friday, September 22, 2017

Title: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda
Author: Becky Albertalli
Genre: Young Adult
Publication date: April 7th 2015

 Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

 Simon is a sixteen-year-old boy, who is not openly gay and is being blackmailed with his private emails with Blue by a fellow student.  Blue is an anonymous and also closeted boy from the same high school. Simon and Blue have developed a flirtatious relationship through messaging, but neither one is aware of who the other is in real life because they use fake screen names.  The student that is blackmailing Simon wants him to help get the attention of one of Simon's best friends that he has a crush on.  Simon struggles to keep his sexuality a secret and protect his and Blue's blossoming romance from being revealed, while also trying to survive the usual high school drama.

I loved the adorable “You’ve Got Mail” feeling where both characters meet online due to a tumblr post and have no idea who each other are. They continue to email each other back and forth and what begins as a friendship eventually turns into more. I'm such a sucker for stories like this that include love letters, text, emails, etc.  The emailing was such an important addition in this book.  It really sold the romance for me. I loved that this wasn’t just two teenagers meeting and instantly falling in “teenage love”.  Simon and Blue got to know each other through their messages, without any influence of social status or appearances. It made it that much sweeter.  And I loved reading the flirty and fun banter between these two.

I won't give any clues as to who the love interest, Blue, is because half of the fun was trying to guess who it was.  I thought I had it figured out and changed my mind a bunch of times.  I did finally figure it out though, and I was so happy when it was revealed.  I kind of want to go back and read the book again now that I know and read all of the clues again. lol!  I have to admit that I did wish that we got to see more of Blue and Simon, together, in the end. They were so adorable!

Simon is definitely going on my list as one of my favorite YA characters ever. I loved his voice and being in his head was so much fun. Simon is a theater geek who enjoys comics, Harry Potter and Oreos. He’s both confident and vulnerable and I it just made me want to hug him. His character felt so real and genuine and I’m sure anyone who reads Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda will be able to identify with at least some of the struggles Simon faces.  He is such a relateable and fleshed out character that it’s impossible not to feel invested in his story.

There were also a lot of great secondary characters (that I'm hoping eventually get their own books).  We have Simon's three best friends Leah, Abby, and Nick.  Abby was the bubbly, happy one that ended up being a really great supportive friend to him.  Leah is the one that has known Simon the longest.  She came off kind of harsh and bitchy at times, but I thought it made sense for her character.  She is dealing with a one-sided crush on Nick, while watching him fall at Abby's feet.  She also shows jealous moments when it comes to Simon and Abby's close friendship. There's also Nick, but we don't really get to know much about him other than the fact that he has a crush on Abby.  He didn't get too much character development.  There was just enough drama within their little social group for it to feel real without being over the top.

This is another one of those rare young adult books that have great supportive parents involved in their son's life.  I love that!  I've said this in another review, but I feel like often times in YA books the parents are written as "the bane of their existence" or just aren't mentioned at all.  They wanted to know what was going on in Simon's life, and set him straight when he needed it.  His sisters were also a lot of fun.

I can’t wait to pick up more of Becky Albertalli’s books. This is definitely a book I would recommend to anybody and everybody. It's a relatable and well-written story, and it has the most realistic yet likable characters. There are so many funny and humorous moments but it also deals with important themes in a very delicate and appropriate way.  I kind of want to pick this up and start reading it all over again, and I just finished it!  I didn't want it to end at all, and  I already miss the characters.  I own The Upside of Unrequited and I can't wait to pick it up soon!

Find it here:

Waiting on Wednesday

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme where we have the opportunity to let others know about books that we are eagerly waiting for.

Hosted by Breaking the Spine

Title: So Over You
Title: Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels, #2
Genre: Hockey Romance
Publisher: Pocket Star
Find it on Goodreads

Releases on December 4th 2017!

Three estranged sisters struggle to sustain their late father’s failing hockey franchise in Kate Meader’s sizzling Chicago Rebels series. In this second entry, middle sister Isobel is at a crossroads in her personal and professional lives. But both are about to get a significant boost with the addition of a domineering Russian powerhouse to the Rebels....

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won Olympic silver, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then... let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice...

Why I'm Waiting:  4 reasons: I LOVE Kate Meader's romances, I really loved the first book in this series, and I'm a big sucker for a second chance romance, and I also really love sports romances (especially when it's hockey).  I'm really excited about this one!

What books are you excited about?

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